21st Lancers charge at the Battle of Omdurman antique print.
On 2nd. September in 1898 the Battle of Omdurman took place between an Anglo-Egyptian expeditionary force commanded by Major General Horatio Kitchener and the forces of the Mahdist Islamic State, led by Abdullah al-Taashi. The combined British, Egyptian and Sudanese army numbering 25,800 faced a Mahdist force of 52,000 tribesmen. Although greatly outnumbered, Omdurman was a major victory for the allies which effectively heralded the coming end of the Islamist uprising in Sudan. British and allied dead numbered 48 with 382 reported wounded. Among the Mahdist losses were put at 12,000 killed, 13,000 wounded and 5,000 taken prisoner. The following year, at the Battle of Umm Diwaykarat, a force of 10,000 Mahdist were confronted by a British-Egyptian force of 8,000. The Mahdist losses were 1,000 killed and wounded, with 3,000 captured. Among the allied forces 3 were killed and 23 reported wounded. The result was the establishment of Anglo-Egyptian Sudan which lasted (in one form or another) until 1956 as a Condominium of the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Egypt. Of four Victoria crosses awarded that day three were won by lancers, the other was won by a soldier in The Queen’s Bays ( 2nd Dragoon Guards.) Our antique print is of the Charge of 21st Lancers at Omdurman. One of the last cavalry charges of the British Army, both Winston Churchill and Douglas Haig were among those who charged towards the Mahdist lines.